Marketing Transferable Skills from Scientific Training

By Carolina Cheng
BGE Office of Communications

Students and trainees left the Biomedical Graduate Education Transferable Skills workshop inspired by our New York Academy of Sciences guest speaker, Stephanie Wortel-London, to pursue careers that they desire and enjoy. Many attendees were pleasantly reaffirmed that enjoyable careers exist within as well as outside of the academic trajectory.

Dr. Wortel-London is Director of Education at the New York Academy of Sciences – a scientific academy solving global challenges through advancing scientific research, education, and policy. She defended her PhD dissertation in Science Education Research at Stony Brook University’s Institute for STEM Education. She has worked across traditional and non-traditional sectors with her degrees, never losing sight of her interests and aspirations.

A Career Outside of Academia?

Dr. Wortel-London spoke passionately on the topic of students with scientific training having a variety of career options beyond the “Ivory Tower”. A topic that can often be a sensitive subject to discuss with academic mentors.

“Trained scientists are coveted across all sectors – consulting, education, law, diplomatic relations, government, analytics, and industry.” Just to name a few. For example, policymakers need experts in the field to advise them.

Many of the core skills developed in scientific training and valued in academic jobs are skills that are transferable to other career fields, such as writing grants and fellowships, collaborating, practicing forward thinking, and mentoring. Don’t underestimate yourself. You have a “malleable intelligence” and can accrue new skills to better fit the career field you’re interested in.

You’re Not Alone

Biomedical Graduate Education (BGE) students don’t need to embark on the journey of self-development and career exploration alone. The Office of Career Strategy and Professional Development (CSPD) of BGE equip and empower students to meet their career goals through abundant resources, such as a Transferable Skills WorksheetIndividual Development Planfree memberships1 on 1 advising, and career development & mentoring programs. CSPD Resources can be found on the BGE Careers page.

Amongst one of the free membership is with the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS). Georgetown and NYAS have partnered to offer free Science Alliance memberships for Georgetown students. Science Alliance Members have access to scientific events, webinars, symposia, eBriefings, and scientific journals. A great resource for you to expand your skills. If you are not already a member sign up now!

Enjoy Your Career

The workshop’s last activity had students to create a graphic organizer with 3 sections, Skills You HaveJobs You Might Want, and What Skills You Might Need, in order to assess their skills, interests, and values. Dr. Wortel-London emphasized how the What Skills You Might Need is an area for growth and the skills listed do not impede you from achieving your dream job. You have control of your career trajectory.

Dr. Wortel-London ends her seminar on these last words, “You’re going to learn what you like and not like to do… You might get lucky and find the perfect job for your first job. For those who don’t, hopefully, you’ll spiral inward to what you like to do and get closer to what you are meant to do.”

Dr. Stephanie Wortel-London

Guest Speaker for Biomedical Graduate Education Transferable Skills Workshop
Director of Education, New York Academy of Science

@stephwortel #sciencealliance #transferableskills